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Saturday 23 February 2019 07:02, UK
Jamie Redknapp believes the transfer ban imposed on Chelsea will impact any potential plan to replace Maurizio Sarri as manager.
Just two days before their Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, live on Sky Sports, Chelsea have been banned from signing players for two transfer windows after being found guilty of breaching rules about signing minors by FIFA.
Sky Sports News understands the punishments are a result of a three-year FIFA investigation related to the signing of more than a dozen players by Chelsea. They will be able to sell players, but not register any new ones.
Sarri has come under intense pressure of late, having seen his side lose three of their last four domestic matches, including the 6-0 hammering at the hands of Manchester City two weeks ago.
However, any thoughts Chelsea had of changing their head coach will have to be revised now, according to Redknapp, who believes the options for a potential Sarri replacement are not limited.
"Difficult times ahead for Chelsea," Redknapp told Sky Sports. "They might be able to appeal that, but the worry is where does this stop. They will feel like they have been picked on a little bit.
"If you are a young player at the club, though, then this is music to your ears, and is a really big opportunity for a lot of these young players. There are no excuses for these young players now.
"If they do go for a new manager, they are going to have to go for someone who buys into their youth system. Whether that is a legend of the club, like Frank Lampard, they will have to turn to youth.
"Sarri isn't that type of manager, but I don't blame him, because you are under so much pressure at Chelsea to win, you haven't got the time to blood young players. Pochettino has that luxury, as he knows he is not going to get sacked. At Chelsea you have a bad eight months you get sacked."
Chelsea have had success changing their manager mid-season in the past, with Guus Hiddink, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez all coming in midway through various campaigns and winning trophies.
However, Redknapp questioned whether or not Chelsea's season is actually as bad as it seems, and why Sarri, who has made no secret of his adherence to his footballing philosophy, is not being given time like Unai Emery is at Arsenal.
"When you bring in a manager like Sarri, you know what you are getting, you know what his style of play is," Redknapp added. "Sarri loves that midfield conductor like Jorginho, but teams in the Premier League press you so hard, and there has to come a time when you go, 'well this isn't working to the extent we want, maybe we miss him out, maybe we go more direct' - you have to come up with different plans.
"If you look at Chelsea, they have got to this final, they are level on points with Arsenal, they are still in the Europa League. We are not talking about Arsenal's manager, who 'needs time'. We talk differently about Chelsea because of the history of the club, which seems a bit of shame really.
"If you would have said they'd be in this position at the stage at the start of the season, Sarri would probably have taken that. It has not been that bad. The problem has been the mistakes they have made, and they have been heavily beaten in big games. That is what has cost them. These are the high profile mistakes that are so obvious to everyone."
Sunday's match, Redknapp insists, is a time when Sarri really does have to try and change things, or face a repeat of two weeks ago at the Etihad.
"When you have been beaten so comfortably, to then go and play the same team again is really hard." Redknapp added. "I remember Crystal Palace losing 9-0 to Liverpool in a league game and they then went on to beat them in the semi-final of the FA Cup a few months later.
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"However, it is very difficult to come back from this, you have got such a beating, you start to wonder about the tactics of the manager, everything is being scrutinised.
"There is nothing worse than when a manager goes in with the same team and says 'we can do this' - players do no respond to that. They will need to hear a different message. That might be something tactical, that might be saying to Jorginho and Kante that they play in a two to be more solid."